Well, look at me, all returned and whatnot from my big wild west adventure. I tells ya, I feel all ten kinds of Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball! It's going to take some time for me to give up my Nell-like wilderness ramblings (though I'll try to remain pure and childlike, of course), to hack off my ZZ Top-length metaphorical vacation beard, and to simply try to comprehend everything I've done and seen in the last 17 days. Let it suffice to say for now that I am humbled and really, really fricking tired.
I've uploaded a few snappy snaps for your
Incidentally, I've gotten used to this so-called "unemployment". In fact, I like it so much that I've decided to say fuck getting a job. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this idea, but I've been ruminating on my options:
1. Become a 1930s-style sad clown vagabond hobo, a la Roger Miller's "King of the Road". I'll spend my time riding the rails and singing American folk songs such as "Jimmy Crack Corn" (see: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure).
2. Become a 1970s-style alcoholic, sort of like Ava Gardner in Earthquake. This will entail the wearing of flowy slacks, the maintaining of an all-day buzz that could at any moment turn into screeching hysteria, and the listening to of many Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass LPs.
3. Become a jedi.
I'll let you know how things go.
In the meantime, on with the vacation wrap-up quickstyle!
*States visited: 6
*Miles driven: 5270
*National Parks seen/hiked/conquered: 15
*Pizzas consumed: 9
*Highest temperature: 115 (Zion National Park, UT)
*Lowest temperature: 43 (Alamosa, CO)
*Highest elevation: 10,856 (Wolf's Creek Pass, CO)
*Lowest elevation: -280 (Death Valley National Park, CA)
*Most awesome wildlife seen: Black Bear (Mesa Verde National Park, CO)...YES, WE SAW A FUCKING BEAR. Runner-up: California Condors (Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ)
*Least awesome wildlife seen: (TIE) the killer bees of Joshua Tree, CA; the gnats of Tombstone, AZ
*Wildlife Stacie may or may not have seen: Tarantula (x2); dead kangaroo ( I SWEAR! It was in the road near a wildlife "park". We passed by and went on to Bryce Canyon for the day. Later, when leaving, I was going to stop and investigate- but the body was gone!)
*Movies watched in LA: 6.2 (the damn DVD of The Mutilator crapped out on us)
*Total # of Matlock movies watched: 1 (...and it was fucking terrible. You see, our house doesn't have cable- thus, when we go to a hotel and there IS cable, it's exciting and exotic. The wires in my head must be crossed or something, because whenever I see there's a Matlock movie on in a hotel, I get psyched. I think maybe I think it's something cool like Columbo or The Rockford Files or Perry Mason or something so I always put it on. And it always sucks! I hate Matlock! Andy Griffith acts like a retarded 2-year-old in a seersucker suit with his mugging and his fucking banjo shit and his ludicrous courtroom antics and I get so irritated...yet I leave it on. And guaranteed, the lesson of the suckiness of Matlock just doesn't stick with me. Were there to be another Matlock movie on the following night, I'd probably turn it on and then I'd end up wanting to punch myself in the face repeatedly. Hard.)
Did I walk the mile-and-a-half down into the natural entrance to Carlsbad Cavern (New Mexico)? Yes, I did. There were gobs of cave swallows circling around the entrance. Every night around sunset, this is where all the Mexican Free-Tail bats fly out in search of yummy mosquitoes. Between the birds and the bats, the entrance was pretty stinky with poop. It was still wicked cool, though.
Here we have Groom Lake Road, the 15-mile dirt road that leads to Area 51 (Nevada). We drove as far as we could, to the signs telling us that if we went any further...well, use of deadly force was authorized. I got out and approached the signs to take pictures of them, at which point the security dudes on the hillside lurched their unmarked truck forward to let me know they weren't fucking around. It was awesome!
The "dark cell"- solitary confinement at Yuma Territorial Prison (Arizona):
Did I put on a hardhat and simulate launching a Titan II nuclear missle (Arizona)? Yes, I did. It's the last remaining Titan II in the US, the rest of the silos having been destroyed at the end of the cold war. It's not a big red button that initiates the launch, no matter what Martin Sheen may have done in the Dead Zone; it's the key in the center of the top row. After entering a bunch of security codes, there's a synchronized key turn to launch. The three buttons on the top left were for the 3 target locations- locations that are still classified today.
Crusty alien autopsy at the UFO Museum in Roswell, NM:
Ghost towns in the desert = happy Stacie. This is Rhyolite in Beatty, NV- very close to the California border:
Here's the...err, dunes at Great Sand Dunes, Colorado. We hiked almost all the way to the top, which is about 750 feet. Sand hiking is kinda cool, kinda way too difficult:
All right, I won't bore you any longer (until I get my film back, that is)- this is supposed to be about horror movies, right?